The Manayunk Neighborhood Council was split in its Wednesday night zoning decisions.
Representatives from two Manayunk properties presented their cases to MNC, hoping for favorable reactions from their neighbors. Ikrom Tolibov, owner of a property on the 300 block of Carson St., sought approval for a curb-cut and permission to create a parking space in the rear of his lot. While members expressed sympathy for his parking troubles, MNC voted to oppose Tolibov’s request.
Represented by Manayunk legal mainstay William O’Brien, Glenn Calhoun sought and received approval for the subdivision of a lot on the 200 block of Lyceum Ave.
Seeking approval for a curb-cut and parking space
Parking is a problem that has become endemic to Manayunk, and it has forced Tolibov to park his vehicle in a repurposed yard to the rear of his home.
However, the only access to it at present is via his neighbor’s curb-cut, which requires Tolibov to negotiate two sharp turns in quick succession – and drive over the sidewalk.
To combat this, he presented MNC with a plan that would turn his back yard into a formal parking space, freeing his conscience but requiring a curb-cut. In addition, one on-street parking spot would be eliminated.
The proposed driveway would be 12 feet, 9 inches in length, which is a few inches shorter than Tolibov’s car, and several feet shorter than the length required by the city. As a result, his car – and, potentially, those of future parkers – would stick out into the sidewalk.
While residents identified with Tolibov’s frustration with parking – some even tacitly endorsing his current bending of parking regulations – many were concerned about setting a precedent for the neighborhood, and did not want to lose valuable on-street spots.
Moreover, few were willing to condone the blocking of sidewalks – even if only by inches.
As such, a motion declining support for Tolibov’s request was passed. The zoning hearing is scheduled for mid to late June.
Speaking for his client, O’Brien explained the desire for a subdivision on the Lyceum Ave. property.
At present, the odd-shaped lot contains both a single family home and a detached garage. According to O’Brien, it is zoned R10A and is currently legal in its usage. With the proposed subdivision, the structure would become a non-accessory garage, which is prohibited under Philadelphia code.
Even with the subdivision, O’Brien noted that the square footage of both lots would be fully conforming. He added that his client plans to sell the home and retain use of the garage and has no plans to build on the proposed lot.
Responding to queries about driveway access to the garage and the potential need for curb cuts, O’Brien said that the existing curb is “depressed,” and needs no additional modification.
“It’s a heck of a lot,” said O’Brien, in reference to the property’s proportions.
The zoning decision date is June 20.